Tag Archives: Timesheets

TimeControl 7.2 is now available and it includes the new TimeControl Mobile App!

We’re very excited to announce the release of TimeControl version 7.2. This update to TimeControl includes numerous new and enhanced features and also showcases the release of the TimeControl Mobile App!

There are some incredible new features in this version and some major enhancements too!

The TimeControl Mobile App!
It has been a while in the making but the TimeControl Mobile App is now available.  It is a free App designed to work on both Android and iOS (Apple) devices.  The App lets users log into their TimeControl account and create a timesheet, update an existing timesheet, complete and release a timesheet and, if a supervisor, approve or reject timesheets.  The App is highly intuitive with a responsive design interface.  If used on an Android device, it adopts the styles and characteristics of that device.  If on an Apple device, it appears as any other Apple-based App.  The screen adjusts to the resolution available to it.

The TimeControl Mobile App is free and available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.  The TimeControl Mobile App works with TimeControl 7.2 and higher installations.

You can find out more about the TimeControl Mobile App at mobile.timecontrol.com.

TimeControl API
TimeControl now includes a complete Application Programming Interface to the already numerous methods of integrating TimeControl with other corporate systems. With scheduled links already available, many organizations can take advantage of transferring data to and from TimeControl through transaction files. This new REST-based API goes even further, letting organizations program the movement of data into and out of TimeControl by creating programming calls to the TimeControl API. The API is optionally installed as part of TimeControl and security is controlled in both System Preferences and User Profiles.

Timesheet Grouping
TimeControl now allows you to group your timesheet or for TimeControl Industrial users, the Crew Timesheet. For users with a large number of line items, grouping them can help with data entry. There are up to five levels of grouping and you can group by any field displayed on the timesheet.
New buttons to Expand All or Collapse in the Actions Menu at the top allow you to quickly display all lines in the grouped format or go back just to the summary lines.

There is so much more!
Additional new and enhanced features include: Scheduled Timesheet Creation, Scheduled Autofilled Timesheets, email notifications in Line Item Approvals, pretest Validation Rules, SAML 2.0 authentication support, new data views in the Drill Down Analyzer and more.

For more information about TimeControl version 7.2, visit TimeControl.com/features/latest.

This new version is available now for clients with a current support and maintenance agreement at no additional charge from the TimeControl upgrades site: TimeControl.com/support/updates. TimeControl Online users will be upgraded automatically in the coming weeks.

Best Practices

Whether you are new to TimeControl or have used it for years, getting the fiscal year underway is a good time to review your timesheet practices to look for improvements.  bestpractices_300x168.jpgThe TimeControl website has numerous resources for this.

Organizational Best TimeControl Practices

When we think of best practices for timesheet use from the administrator or organization perspective, we think of processes, how to improve efficiency of the organization overall.  The TimeControl website includes a section in the Best Practices area called Timesheet Best Practices for Organizations. At: http://www.timecontrol.com/resources/best-practices/organizations

Personal Best TimeControl Practices

Timesheets are an application which may be used by every employee in the organization.  If we can save each person only a few minutes each week, the combined savings can be enormous.  The TimeControl website has a section called Timesheet Best Practices for Individuals at www.timecontrol.com/resources/best-practices/individuals which includes presentations and materials which show how each user can shave time off their timesheet entry effort.

Additional Use Case Scenarios

It is very common for us at HMS to receive calls asking how to use TimeControl for a particular use-case scenario.  This is often because TimeControl was originally implemented to solve a particular set of business challenges and now that it is a stable part of the organization’s culture, we don’t pause to think of what else it might be able to accomplish for us.  Take a look at the TimeControl Use Case Scenarios at www.timecontrol.com/use-cases to see the most common business challenges TimeControl solves and see if any of these can be applied in your own organizations.

Missing Features

You might not keep track of all the functionality that TimeControl offers.  Once you have deployed the functionality you originally designed into your timesheet process, it is quite common to ignore any new functionality which may have been added in the meantime.  So, take a moment and peek at the TimeControl Features overview at www.timecontrol.com/features which shows the most popular aspects of the TimeControl system.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

We use the TimeControl blog itself to archive answers to the most frequently asked technical questions.  You can go to the search function of the blog and enter “FAQ” or just click on this link at:  blog.timecontrol.com/?s=FAQ.

For more about TimeControl Best Practices, go to: www.timecontrol.com/resources/best-practices.

FAQ: Timesheets by Exception

autofill.jpgCan TimeControl support timesheets entered only by exception? We have some operational staff who do the same thing all the time and are on salary so the only time we need their timesheet is when they need to book sick leave or vacation.

You can do timesheets by exception.  But, more importantly, you can do timesheets by exception for some staff while doing positive-entry timesheets for everyone else.  A positive-entry timesheet is one where an employee is expected to enter the timesheet with what they did with their time each day.  An exception timesheet is one where the employee typically does the same task each day so tracking their day-to-day activities is not important.  In their case, we’d like to default their timesheet to a standard week (for example: 40 hours of “in attendance”). Those employees would only have to make an entry for an “exception” such as vacation or sick leave or personal time off.

TimeControl includes a function called “Autofill” that automatically fills a timesheet for any employee in this category to the maximum per day required.  If there are no entries for that person, a complete week is filled in.  If there are some exception entries, only the gaps are filled in.  In this manner we can accommodate both exception timesheet employees and positive-entry timesheet employees.  More on this and other HR-related functions can be found at: http://www.timecontrol.com/use-cases/human-resources

TimeControl Administrator Management

7276253TimeControl is a centralized timesheet system and requires administration as any other centralized system would.  In smaller deployments of 100 users or less, all the responsibility typically falls to one person who helps design the TimeControl implementation and then manages it ongoingly.  But what happens when the deployment is more complex?  Let’s talk for a moment about the Administration Roles and how this work can be distributed to more than one person.   First of all, there are several types of Administrators that are possible:

Technical Administrator

If you have installed TimeControl on premises, you will almost certainly require a Technical Administrator.  If you are subscribed to TimeControlOnline, HMS Software takes care of this responsibility.
The Technical Administrator is typically from the IT department and is responsible to keep the TimeControl system functioning.  They will be responsible for the server TimeControl is installed on, the database that TimeControl is using and technical responsibilities that include the following:

  • System Monitoring
  • System Usage
    • Database storage
    • Log file storage
  • Technical Support
  • Testing and Installing new Upgrades

TimeControl may have been installed with multiple instances to provide a production instance that everyone uses as well as a staging or development instance that is used for testing new updates prior to giving access to the update to everyone.

Main Administrator

Whether you are subscribed to TimeControlOnline or are using TimeControl on premises, you will want a Main TimeControl Administrator who will take charge of the centralized aspects of the system.  This includes being responsible for:

  • Documenting and Maintaining the System Processes
  • Table Maintenance of the Employee, User, Charge, Project, Resource and Rates tables
  • System Preferences
  • Management of User Profiles
  • Archiving of old timesheet data
  • Routine Data Cleanup
    • Deleting or hiding old projects, employees, users, pop-up values etc. so that current users don’t need to go through them as they use the system.

Secondary Administrators (optional)

Larger organizations may divide up some responsibilities to different people in the organization.  It is not unusual in larger deployments for example, to have an HR administrator who will deal with onboarding and offboarding employees who join and leave the company.  They will be responsible to add or remove these employees from TimeControl as part of the overall process of a new employee or one who is leaving.  Some common Secondary Administrators include:

  • HR Administrator
    • Users
    • Employees
    • Internal Rates
    • TimeRequest Wizard
  • Project Administrator
    • Project Table
    • Charge Table
    • Resource Table
    • Assignments
    • Project Rates
  • Costing/Billing Administrator
    • Rate Values

Training for these secondary administrators must ensure that the multiple roles don’t conflict so ensuring that one aspect of the data is the responsibilty of one person is critical.

Some other notes

  • Share the knowledge
    One thing we see often at HMS is a call from a client informing us that their long standing and very knowledgeable TimeControl Administrator has just left and they need to retrain someone “right away”.  While HMS often does such training, it’s important to remember that complete training requires intimate knowledge of your internal processes.  It’s much more effective to have more than one Technical and Main TimeControl Administrator trained and active so that if there is someone missing even for a short time, there is no loss of continuity.
  • Document your system
    No one loves this responsibility but it is important nonetheless.  HMS does system documentation as a matter of course but process documentation is also critical and this is often left to the client to produce.  The more documentation you have for your centralized system, the easier it is to update and to train new people when required.
  • Don’t miss out on what’s new
    When new versions of TimeControl are released, take the opportunity to see what new functionality will be of benefit to your particular deployment.  It is common to skip an update or even if the Technical Administrator updates the system to just keep using it the way you always have without pausing to see if any new or enhanced functionality would be of use to you.  So, take a few minutes, look over the new features and see if there is something there that will make your life easier!

If you need help with Administrator Training, talk to HMS Technical Services at info@hms.ca.